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NIH Increases Focus on Behavioral and Social Science Research

During the GRC 2010 External Funding Conference, Ronald Abeles, special assistant to the director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), stated that NIH’s already-substantial investment in behavioral and social science (BSS) research is poised to grow.

As evidence, consider the establishment of the trans-NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network and the creation of new BSS funding opportunities such as these:

  • Effects of the Social Environment on Health: Measurement, Methods, and Mechanisms (R01) Deadline: January 6, 2011
  • Sleep and Social Environment: Basic Biopsychosocial Processes (R01) and (R21) Deadline: October 8, 2010
  • Basic Mechanisms Influencing Behavioral Maintenance (R01) Deadline: October 14, 2010
  • Psychosocial Stress and Behavior: Integration of Behavioral and Physiological Processes (R01) Deadline: October 14, 2010
  • Development of Comprehensive and Conceptually-based Measures of Psychosocial Stress (R21) Deadline: October 14, 2010
  • Basic Research on Self-Regulation (R21) Deadline: January 6, 2011
  • Scientific Meetings for Creating Interdisciplinary Research Teams in Emerging Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research (R13) Deadline: December 14, 2010

If you are interested in pursuing any of these funding opportunities, please contact the IUP Research Institute at 724-357-2223 to speak with the project development officer assigned to your college or department.

Abeles reported that about 10 percent of NIH’s overall budget is currently spent on BSS research. Individual institutes’ percentages vary, with the National Institute of Nursing Research spending almost 80 percent of its extramural budget on BSS research, while the National Institute of Mental Health, once the lead NIH institute supporting BSS research, decreased its emphasis on this type of research. Contact Abeles at ronald_abeles@nih.gov for additional information.

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